MAYOR John Forbes addresses the gathering, encouraging people to attend the next council meeting. Photos James Sandbrook OB4766-03

OPOTIKI Mayor John Forbes encouraged discussion on climate change when he met protestors from the Extinction Rebellion group yesterday.

The protest, outside the council, followed a march from the Opotiki Rose Gardens, with attendees dressing up, carrying banners and chanting.

Mr Forbes addressed the 50-strong group when they gathered outside the council building.

Members of the group demanded the council declare a climate emergency, but Mr Forbes encouraged discussion instead of demands.

“It’s not just the council, everyone has to do their part,” he said.

Mr Forbes invited them to attend next week’s ordinary council meeting where they could make use of the public forum to make a presentation to the council, encouraging the declaration of a climate emergency.

Last month, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council also declared a climate emergency.

james.sandbrook@opotikinews.co.nz